These simple yet satisfying meals not only save time but also ensure that everyone's taste preferences are met, making dinnertime stress-free and effortless!
Are you looking for quick and easy dinner ideas for a family with kids? I’ve rounded up a list of simple meals that are made with just a few cheap ingredients! Everything from ground beef and chicken to carb loaded comfort foods.
I think most kids are notorious picky eaters, which makes it difficult to find family meals that everyone can agree on. My daughter will tell you everything is too spicy, my husband just wants a big plate full of meat, and I usually prefer a little healthy rabbit food like a beet salad. Try putting that all together! It ain’t easy making everyone happy.
Fortunately, I’ve rounded up a few delicious recipes over the years that my entire family agrees on, plus they make for great last minute dinners, especially if you’re a lazy cook like me. These are all perfect for busy moms and dads on a budget! And who isn’t these days?
1. Lazy Lasagna
This is my all time favorite dinner for busy weeknights! It’s made with just 3 ingredients that last for a long time, so as long as you keep them in stock, you’ll always have a kid-friendly dinner ready to be made. It’s vegetarian, but you can add ground beef or sausage to the layers if you’d like, as well as any veggies you happen to have on hand like mushrooms or zucchini to make it healthy.
2. Chicken & Zucchini Casserole
I’ve made this recipe countless times, and it’s always a hit with my kids. I do recommend the “StoveTop” brand of stuffing because it’s packed full of flavor, making any additional seasoning unnecessary. You could also add other soft veggies to the mix if you’d like such as squash, corn or mushrooms.
3. The Best Meatloaf
I’ve never been much of a meatloaf fan, but this recipe is killer! The box of stuffing makes all the difference. Feel free to add anything else to the mix that you’d like such as onion, garlic or cheese.
4. Creamy Chicken Tacos
So easy to make in your slow cooker with just 3 ingredients! The chicken turns out really tender and easy to shred, making it perfect for tacos or burritos. You may want to add in some additional seasoning depending on the brand of salsa you use and your personal preference. Serve with shredded cheese, fresh tomato, avocado, cilantro, jalapeño or anything else you’d like!
5. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
I love sheet pan meals because they require very little cleanup and dishes with everything just cooking to perfection on a single pan. These chicken fajitas are a great oven meal served with warm flour tortillas, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream. My picky eaters love them!
6. Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast
The ultimate comfort food, especially during the cold winter months! You will be pleasantly surprised at how tender and flavorful this beef is. Cook it with potatoes and veggies to make it a complete meal, or over a heaping pile of mashed potatoes.
7. Cheeseburger Casserole
If you’re looking for easy ground beef dinner recipes, this hamburger casserole is the ultimate cheese lover’s dream come true! It’s made with just a handful of cheap ingredients, and is just as good leftover for lunch or dinner the next day. Two meals in one!
8. Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Zesty shredded chicken served on toasted buns with a store-bought packet of coleslaw. Yes, please! You can throw this chicken in your crockpot before work and come back to dinner ready to be served. This is one of my daughter’s favorite meals.
9. Cheesy Pesto Baked Chicken
Made with just a handful of ingredients, this is my favorite way to bake chicken! It’s naturally low carb but you can serve it with anything you’d like such as rice or pasta. I like to eat it over a heaping bed of seasoned cauliflower rice.
10. Garlic Toast Pizzas
This is another one of those meals that is a life saver on busy weeknights when you don’t have any dinner plans. Plus, it’s easy enough for the older kids to make themselves! These are wonderful for dinner with a little salad, or even an after school snack for big appetites.
11. Crockpot Chicken & Gravy
Serve this delicious chicken over mashed potatoes or rice, and you’ve got one of the best family friendly meals. It kind of reminds me of thanksgiving, making it one of my family’s favorite comfort meals. Serve with veggies or salad for added nutrition.
12. The Best Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
This is one of my husband’s favorite meals, especially when it’s served with a hot and buttery baked potato. Who needs a grill when you’ve got a crockpot! With just 3 simple ingredients, you’ve got the most tender, fall-off-the-bone meat you’ll ever eat.
13. Chicken Parmesan Pasta Casserole
I’ve got a few Italian food fans in my house, and this cheesy pasta casserole is loaded with everything you could want in a meal. It’s loaded with rotisserie chicken and baked with a crispy parmesan and panko crust. Serve with caesar salad and warm garlic bread!
14. Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats
If you love Italian food, but are trying to keep your carbs down, these zucchini boats are insanely delicious and easy to make thanks to ground chicken! I serve them with a side of Pasta-Roni or garlic bread for the kids.
15. Lazy Shepherd’s Pie
Ok, technically this is not shepherd’s pie because it’s made with ground beef instead of lamb, but it’s essentially the same thing, plus it’s really easy to make with just 6 ingredients! You can use any mashed potatoes that you’d like such as boxed, store-bought or homemade.
16. Crockpot Shredded Buffalo Chicken
Another easy slow cooker meal! I love making chicken in my crockpot because you really can’t mess it up. It’s turns out so tender and easy to shred every time, which makes it perfect for sandwiches. If your family likes buffalo sauce, they are going to love this simple meal.
17. Cheesy Baked Tortellini Casserole
Just a few simple and cheap ingredients to make this incredibly delicious pasta casserole with meat sauce! The cream cheese makes all the difference. This meal is incredibly filling and feeds a large family, but is just as good leftover for a few days so you can get several meals out of it.
18. Sloppy Joe French Bread
Another family friendly ground beef recipe! If you like sloppy joe’s, you’ve got to try making it opened face on toasted french bread. It’s so much better! The cheese gets all toasted, plus I like the smaller serving sizes so everyone gets just the right amount.
19. Chicken Parmesan Sliders
If you’ve got picky eaters to feed, these little sandwiches are a huge hit with kids! I like to make them for dinner whenever they have sleepovers because even their friends gobble them up.
20. Creamy Sausage & Tortellini Soup
Made in your slow cooker! You won’t believe how yummy this pasta soup is with toasted garlic bread. Thanks to the sausage, it’s packed full of flavor. I load it with tomatoes and spinach to make it at least somewhat healthy.
21. Cheesy Chicken & Bacon Sandwiches
Serve this addicting chicken on toasted hoagie rolls with lettuce and ranch dressing, and watch your family practically inhale them! If you’re watching your carbs, you could also make a salad out of it.
22. Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole
A delicious creamy ground beef casserole recipe topped with crispy hash browns! How can you go wrong with that? You can fill it with any veggies you’d like, including canned, fresh or leftover.
23. Pizza Quesadillas
Everyone loves a good quesadilla, and I can’t think of a better way to stuff them than with pizza ingredients! Pepperoni is a classic but you could also fill them with olives, mushrooms, fresh basil, spinach, jalapeños, and more. This simple idea is great for last minute dinners when you don’t have anything planned.
24. Mini Corn Dog Muffins
Hot dogs baked into corn bread. Yes, please! This fun little dinner is perfect for busy school nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
A Few More Super Easy Meals
- Place 3 large chicken breasts into your slow cooker with 1/2 packet of taco seasoning and a jar of salsa. Cook on low for 3-4 hours and shred with a fork. Serve in warm tortillas or on a salad!
- Pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home from work and serve with a Caesar salad kit and frozen garlic bread.
- Bake frozen chicken tenders according to the package instructions and serve them in tortillas with ranch dressing, shredded cheese and chopped lettuce to make delicious wraps.
- Cook frozen meatballs and toss with marinara sauce. Load them up onto hoagie rolls and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake @400 degrees for 2-3 minutes to make super easy meatball subs.
- Cook a few russet potatoes in your microwave and load them up with rotisserie chicken, butter, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream and anything else you’d like to make loaded baked potatoes.
- Have a delicious Chinese dinner night from the freezer aisle with frozen orange chicken, fried rice, stir-fry veggies, egg rolls, edamame, etc.